GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals bolstered arguably their weakest position by signing ex-Cleveland cornerback Tramon Williams.
Finding a cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson has been a problem for Arizona. Coach Bruce Arians recently declared it open between Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams, although Ronald Zamort, an undrafted rookie, had looked good at the position before tearing an ACL in Saturday’s Red and Blue practice.
So general manager Steve Keim was looking for a veteran presence to add at cornerback. He had first Brandon Flowers, then Williams work out last week.
Williams said after his workout that the Cardinals didn’t want him to leave the building without signing. But he went home, talked it over with his family, and decided Arizona was the place. He signed a one-year deal, the kind Keim is known for at this point in the season.
Williams, who arrived just after Monday’s practice, spent two years in Cleveland after eight with Green Bay, and he was tired of losing with the Browns.
He considers Arizona a “a piece or two away” from getting there.
At age 34, does he consider himself one of those pieces?
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” Williams said. “Everyone I talked to talked highly about the organization. I went two seasons without winning, that’s the toughest thing in my life.”
Bethel, who expects to be back from a minor knee injury on Tuesday, welcomed the addition.
“The more the merrier,” Bethel said.’
The Browns went 4-28 during Williams’ two seasons there.
“After the whole Cleveland experience, it takes a toll on you,” he said. “I really had to do some serious soul searching.”
Arians was so dissatisfied with his team’s outdoor practice Monday that he made his players do some running at the end. He said he’s only done that once before, when a couple of players started fighting.
“As good as Saturday was,” Arians said, “today was bad. Obviously we did not come out after a day off at 8 o’clock (in the morning) and handle the schedule or the heat very well. Way, way too many mental errors. A very sluggish practice, so we did some conditioning.”
The players’ attitude seemed to be whatever Arians says, goes.
“Anytime the head man’s upset and mad,” outside linebacker Markus Golden said. “You don’t want to make the head man mad.”
Arizona has one more practice Tuesday before heading to Canton, Ohio, and Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game against Dallas.